Hon Louise Upston
Minister for Women
6 October 2016
Advisory Council on the Employment of Women
Minister for Women Louise Upston has today announced a reformed National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women
(‘the Council’), which will address key issues facing women in work.
The Council will be comprised of a group of highly experienced business people who will tackle the ongoing barriers to
women’s full participation in the workforce. The new Council has the skills, knowledge and practical experience and will
be key influencers and leaders of genuine and sustainable change for women in the workplace.
“New Zealand women are playing a greater role in our economy than ever before, but there is still a long way to go
before they are fully utilised,” Ms Upston said.
“There are no female chief executives of New Zealand’s top 50 companies and women make up just 17 percent of roles on
private sector boards. Career progression and managing career breaks continues to be an issue. There is huge potential
for women to address current and projected skill shortages, especially in digital technology, engineering, construction
“Getting more women in these areas will boost their own economic success, help to close the gender pay gap and bring
greater benefits to New Zealand as a whole. I’m looking forward to working with the Council to make this happen.”
Ms Upston acknowledged and thanked all past Council members who served on the previous advisory council known as NACEW
for their contributions to New Zealand women’s employment.
The members of the new Council are:
• Traci Houpapa (Chair), Chair of Landcorp and Federation of Māori Authorities
• Norah Barlow, former Chief Executive of aged-care providers Summerset Holdings Ltd
• Dr Andrew Cleland, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of New Zealand and former Chief Executive of the
Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand
• Tagaloatele Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop, Professor of Pacific Studies at the Auckland University of Technology
• Theresa Gattung, co-founder of My Food Bag and former Chief Executive of Telecom
• Kerry Prendergast, Chair of the Environmental Protection Agency and former Mayor of Wellington
• Mark Verbiest, Chair of Spark
• Katherine Rich, representative for Business New Zealand and Chief Executive of the Food and Grocery Council
Ms Upston said “these members are well-positioned to identify new opportunities for women and to influence businesses
across New Zealand.”